Coach K unable to pace his young team
Published 7:40 am Tuesday, March 25, 2003
DAVID DROSCHAK, AP Sports Writer
DURHAM -- Will Duke have enough left in the tank to advance to a 14th Final Four?
The Blue Devils (26-6) have been going hard since a mid-October trip to Europe as coach Mike Krzyzewski has tried to get his young team ready for a deep run into the NCAA tournament.
The Blue Devils will also be making two trips from the East Coast out West.
After winning two games in the West Regional in Salt Lake City to advance, Duke returned to North Carolina for classes before heading back on a plane late Tuesday for a trip to California and a game against Kansas in Anaheim.
Krzyzewski, who has won a remarkable 60 of 75 NCAA tourney games, will watch his club closely for any signs of fatigue before Thursday's game.
Duke's thin bench may also come into play against the Jayhawks (27-7). The Blue Devils received just a combined nine points from reserves in wins over Colorado State and Central Michigan.
Krzyzewski knows Kansas will try to run his team ragged and bang the boards, where the Blue Devils have also been vulnerable this season.
One difficult matchup for the Blue Devils will be Nick Collison, a player who Krzyzewski tried to recruit to Duke.
While Duke was able to limit the two 7-footers it saw last week, the 6-foot-9 Collison not only can post up inside, but he's also a top outside shot.
Some didn't expect Duke, which has won three national titles under coach K, to win two games in the NCAAs this season, let get by Kansas, Arizona or Notre Dame in the tough West bracket.
Krzyzewski believes his team will still be an underdog this week. That's OK with him after being one of the favorites for the past few seasons.